Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology

The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology is a substantial volume with a considerable list of contributors. Edited by Richard Bauckham, Daniel R. Driver, Trevor Holt, and Nathan MacDonald there are articles in it from the 23 scholars exploring this subject in depth. These are many of the papers I heard presented and discussed before I started blogging and learning Hebrew myself. The full table of contents and list of contributors is available at the link above.

I cannot help but remember the conferences I have been to over the last 8 years, from small to large, with specific focus and general, each one having its own place. Blessed be the cloud of computing that keeps my memories for me. It seems to me that we are all like sieves swimming in a vast sea but our lead fish has given us direction and continues to.

The Jewish Roots of Christian Sacrifice was the first one I attended. Here I heard and read with another Canadian (unknown to me) my first Targum taught by Jo Milgrom, and where I was first introduced by her husband Jacob to his theories of purity based on his work on Leviticus. Stefan Rief also presented as did George Bebawi and Bishop Kallistos. There too Bishop Basil introduced me to Réné Girard. Not a bad beginning to conferences. It was three years before I attended another, that is the one above at St Andrews that started me on learning Hebrew because this conference changed for ever the way I viewed the 'Old' Testament.

In 2008 I decided to join SBL and attended two of their conferences, the national SBL meeting San Diego 2008 and the regional meeting in Victoria 2010. These are, by way of contrast' enormous conferences compared with the others.

I think the Jewish roots conference was about 40 people. I had come to Cambridge also to present at the engineering faculty a session on brain computer interfaces which we had been working on behalf of Claire Minkley. Unknown to me, one of her teachers also came to that conference and then to my lecture also - it was the two of us from the same city half-way around the world unknown to each other that were chosen to read the targum on the Akedah. (The text for this is not easily available online.)

The Oxford Psalms Conference is full circle for me from the St Andrews Hebrews Conference. In a couple of days I will be in Israel - what sort of experience with this background awaits me? What should I see? What remember?

A new blog has appeared from one whom I do not know. It touches also on a longer and more painful history. I go into a painful and even longer history as I approach Jerusalem.  How long O Lord?